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Joe Biden Names Privacy Advocate Alvaro Bedoya to FTC

An exterior view of the Federal Trade Commission building
(Image credit: Future)

President Joe Biden has nominated Alvaro Bedoya as commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission. He will be replacing Democratic Commissioner Rohi Chopra, who has been named to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

If he is confirmed, Bedoya, who has been critical of facial recognition tech and is a big advocate of privacy protections, is joining an agency focused on reining in Big Tech and its perceived anticompetitive conduct.

The White House was also touting his experience helping lead a coalition "that successfully pressed an [i]nternet giant to drop ads for online payday loans.

Bedoya was the first chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, including conducting oversight of Big Tech.

Also Read: FTC Boosts Big Tech Regulatory Profile

Democratic House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), also a big privacy advocate, was pleased with the pick.

“I congratulate Mr. Bedoya on his nomination and commend President Biden for selecting a pro-consumer advocate to join the FTC," he said. "Protecting consumers from data privacy abuses, identity theft, fraud, and other unfair and deceptive practices is core to the agency’s mission. Mr. Bedoya will make a strong addition to the Commission, particularly with his extensive background in technology and privacy law, and I trust that he will make an excellent Commissioner. I wish him a speedy confirmation and look forward to working together to protect consumers.”

“USTelecom congratulates Professor Bedoya on his nomination to the Federal Trade Commission, an agency that plays a vital role in our connected economy. Our members look forward to working with him on priorities at the top of the FTC’s consumer protection agenda, specifically advancing a national privacy framework that respects and protects consumers across the entire internet ecosystem," said USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter. "We’re also eager to strengthen our partnership to crack down on illegal robocalls and take back our phones from the scammers and spoofers polluting our communications networks.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.